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New Nikon D7000 vs Pentax K-5 PHOTOKINA

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

There was some nice new/upgraded camera news from PHOTOKINA recently.  Below is an article I cut-n-pasted from  Radiant Light Photography comparing the differences between the new NIKON D7000 and the PENTAX K-5, both with very similar features that will strike a cord with photo-buff skiers.  For the semi-pro, the PENTAX has an advantage with weather sealing (and weather sealed lenses), in camera anti-shake, the ISO, and the HDR mode.  The NIKON advantages include the 39 point auto focus, metering (still to be tested), a huge number of lenses, and price.  I imaging both cameras will have a similar effective price around Christmas, since prices for competitive models historically even out with rebates, discounts, etc.


What amazes me is that the new "semi-pro" cameras are superior in many ways to the "pro" cameras of just a few years ago!  So if you don't already have a stable of lenses, does it really matter any more if you buy a CANNON, PENTAX, NIKON,Olympus, SIGMA, SONY, etc. for semi-pro work?  Probably not.  Thanks to Moore's Law, getting the newest and latest in electronics is more advantageous than the buying a brand. So get good glass.   After viewing all the new equipment, I wish my pockets were deeper...



Nikon D7000 vs Pentax K5

by Enche Tjin on September 22, 2010

I am quites surprised that recently announced Nikon D7000 has many similarities to Pentax K5. Both cameras has similar concept, advanced SLR camera in high quality body and features.

The similarity will definitely confuse buyer on which camera (system) to buy, especially if you are not attached to any brand / system yet.

If you look at the comparison table below, both cameras has many similarities such as 16 MP sensor, 3 inch LCD, Full HD movie recording, fast continuous burst, magnesium alloy body and so on.

By taking a closer look, there are obvious differences between them.







The handsome Pentax K5 with new 18-135mm WR lens

The handsome Pentax K5 with new 18-135mm WR lens

Nikon D7000 advantages:

  • 39 Auto focus point system with 9 cross type (more sensitive AF)
  • AF tracking in live view mode / movie mode
  • Dual SD card slots
  • New metering system for accurate exposure which may be the best today
  • $150-250 cheaper

On the other hand, here are Pentax K5 advantages:

  • Full weather-sealed magnesium alloy body
  • Built-in shake reduction (image stabilization)
  • Slightly faster continuous shooting
  • Dual-axis leveller

If you are getting DSLR for the first time, you should also consider some “untold” stories:

First, Nikon system has more lenses in their collection, ranging from consumer to professionals. However, Pentax has many unique fixed focal lenses which are very compact and very high quality such DA 70mm f/2.4, 31mm f/1.8. These prime lenses will get benefit from Pentax built-in image stabilization called Shake Reduction. Recent standard Pentax lenses also has WR (water repellent) that is great to use with full weather-sealed Pentax K5.

The other thing that I like about Nikon system is built-in flash commander which is part of CLS (Creative Lighting System). This feature enable you to trigger out of camera compatible flashes.

So which is the best camera/system to jump into?

If you need a sturdy, unbreakable camera and use it in extreme weather condition, then you can rely on Pentax K5. Also consider your shooting style and check out each manufacturers lens collection. If you love prime lenses, you might love Pentax’s pancake lenses. On the other hand, if your need high performance, fast auto focus pro-grade lenses for sports / candid photography, Nikon has plenty of them.

The last one is consider the future. If you regard these cameras are just a stepping stone towards a better camera, then you should choose Nikon system, because Nikon has some better cameras such as Nikon D3s, while K5 is the best Pentax camera at the moment.

I hope this is helpful for you to make decision whether to get Nikon D7000 or Pentax K5.

Nikon D7000 vs Pentax K5 comparison table

  Nikon D7000 Pentax K5
Image 16 MP / APS-C Sensor 16 MP / APS-C sensor
LCD 3 inch, 910k resolution 3 inch, 910k resolution
Auto Focus 39 AF points / 9 cross type 11 AF points, 9 cross type
ISO ISO 100-6400 (expandable to 25600) ISO 100-12800, expandable to 80 and 51200
Movie recording Full HD 1080p 24 fps with improved AF-F (Servo) Full HD 1080p 25 fps, no manual exposure control
Continuous shooting 6 fps 7 fps buffer 40 JPGs
Handling/Control Dual SD card slot, quiet mode Shake Reduction, dual axis leveller
Body material Partial magnesium alloy Magnesium alloy – weather sealed
Price $1200, street Approx. $1350, street
Size/Weight 132 x 105 x 77 mm / 780 g 131 x 97 x 73 mm   / 740 g
Viewfinder penta prism, 100% coverage, .94 magnification penta prism, 100% coverage, .95x magnification

Top: Pentax K5 , Below: Nikon D7000


Top: Nikon D7000, Below: Pentax K5

Edited by quant2325 - 9/30/10 at 12:17am
post #2 of 9

I like the Pentax K5 a lot as a ski camera, but (and I know nobody cares) you forgot to mention the Olympus E-5.  I will testify (alone as usual) that it probably has the superior build and weather sealing of any sub-$2K camera, and the lenses cannot be beat for skiing.  It does have some drawbacks, mostly price and high ISO performance, but that won't matter outdoors anyhow. 


So there, I've defended the lowly and forgotten Olympus once again, but if weatherproofing, ruggedness and a more compact size (lenses) are priorities then it's worth a look.





Sensor • 4/3 type Hi-Speed Live MOS
• 13.1 million total pixels
• 12.3 million effective pixels
Sensitivity • ISO 100-6400
• Customizable Auto ISO
Movie mode • 720P
• 30fps
• Mono sound
• Ext stereo mic connector
Processor TruPic V+  
Auto Focus • 11-point TTL Phase Difference Detection
• Automatic or manual point selection
• EV -2 to 19 (ISO 100) detection range
• AF assist using pop-up flash
• Sensor AF (CD-AF) in live view
AE bracketing 2,3,5 or 7 frames  
Scene modes Yes  
Art filters 10  
LCD monitor •3.0" HyperCrystal TFT LCD monitor (wide viewing angle, semi-transmissive)
• Vari-angle (swing and tilt)
• 920,000 pixels
• 100% frame coverage
• 15 step brightness adjustment
Storage • SD / SDHC / SDXC)
• CF Type I/II
Connectivity • USB 2.0 (Hi Speed)
• Video Out (NTSC / PAL)
• IR Remote control (optional)
• Remote terminal
• PC Sync flash terminal
• Stereo mic jack
Other features • i-Enhance
• 2 axis level gauge
• Face Detection
• Multi exposure mode
• Improved customizability
• Shutter now tested to 150k exposures
• Aspect ratio options
• Add copyright info
Dimensions 142 x 116 x 75 mm (5.6 x 4.6 x 2.9 in)  

813 g (1.8 lb)




Finally, before any of you pixel chimpers go all apoplectic about the E-3 being "only" 12 megapixels, here's a mere 5mp shot I took using it's predecessor, the 5mp E-1:








I'll take a great lens on a 5mp SLR over a 12mp with a crappy kit lens almost any




Finally, here's one with my current 10mp E-3 and a corresponding 100% Crop.







12mp will be enough for me if I upgrade to the E-5.

That's my long winded Olympus plug, FWIW - Because nobody else is going to do it.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Sorry I forgot to include the Olympus.  And I agree, the whole megapixel thing has gotton out of hand.  How much do we need?  Certainly not 16 (although the new cameras come with that) or over 30 mp like some cameras.  Better ISO and less noise for low light with the new cameras is a plus, as is using good glass (as you mentioned).

post #4 of 9

Carvemaster, you're not the only Oly shooter, though I only have an e-620. The mp race sells cameras but unless folks invest in really high quality lenses the extra mp doesn't matter. All of the systems have pluses and minuses. In some ways the 4/3 sensor size is an advantage and in some ways not. I mostly bought the 620 because it seemed to offer very good value and the zoom lenses are top flight. The high grade and super high grade lenses are supurb. The E5 looks like a great camera. I read of folks who have drop their E3s into mud puddles, rinsed them off, and kept on shooting. The E5 seems to have the essentially the same weather resistant body. And while they might not match Canon and Nikon at high ISO even the lowly little E-PL1 has terrific IQ at 1600 and good IQ at 3200. If you don't believe look at comparisons at dprevriew or use the image comparison tools at imaging resources. And Olympus probably has the best out of camera jpeg engine going, so if you don't want to shoot RAW and post process... My concern is that I'm not sure of the longevity of the standard 4/3 system. Olympus has basically said their focus is on mirror less cameras. And before I'd get too deep in standard 4/3 system I'd like to know if there will be an integration of micro 4/3 and 4/3 into a system that optimally uses all the excellent lenses. That said, I'll go out on a limb and speculate that the days of traditional SLRs are numbered. Sony has the NEX and now the A33 and A55, the Panasonic GH2 looks like a very interesting camera and Panasonic claims they've solved any focusing issues with contrast detect autofocus (it was already more accurate but was slower). As electronic viewfinders improve and contrast detect focusing catches up to phase detect systems there will be no reason for mirror based systems. I guess my main point is that as much as I like Olympus I'd be hard pressed recommending a new user invest in the E5. For someone who already has HG and SHG leneses it would be a different. But until the dust clears with respect to the future of the 4/3 system I can't see starting with the E5.

post #5 of 9

RISkier.good points and I agree on all of it.  I have been following all the developments on DPReview and the rest.  I would agree that there is some doubt as to the future of 4/3 DSLR's at the moment.  I would be hesitant to run out and start a big collection of 4/3 lenses right now, but I'm just trying to point out that the OLY system is a very practical choice for a ski-priority DSLR mostly due to build quality and the fact that it's a bit lighter and more compact with a comparable lens setup vs. CaNikon.


I'm sure my E-3 or a new E-5 will serve me very well for many years with my 2 zooms covering the FF equivalent of 24-400.  That being said,  I have been saving the spare change I find in my couch cushions because one day I am going to stick a 1D Mk IV in my bag.   But for now, I'm very satisfied with being in the vast minority.


I also have the good fortune to have the main Olympus repair facility 20 minutes from my house.  I had to drop my old E-1 off there once and my son's E-510.  Both times their service was very fast, reasonably priced and competent.

post #6 of 9

One more point to make on the new Oly E-5.  I'm sure some will not agree, but I think there is some truth to what many Oly fanboys/girls claim to be one of the best aspects of the Oly and that is arguably some of the best out of camera jpegs in the business.  They do have an outstanding jpeg engine and I have found little to argue with on the color rendition.  Even though I'm mostly a raw shooter, the new E-5 might sway me a bit shoot more jpegs and save me lots of time.


I even like the dopey new "art filter" called Dramatic Tone, alot.  Here's a pretty good pre-production E-5 user review.  Looks promising to me:  http://robinwong.blogspot.com/2010/10/olympus-e-5-review-on-streets.html


Kumbaya Canon people!

post #7 of 9

My 0.02:  I enjoy the "Oly colors" with my Oly Pen (E-P1), but I think you would be mildly crazy to invest in any new SLR system for skiing other than Canikon... 43 SLR system is clearly supplanted by m43, so as good as E5 is, it is most likely the last camera body in that line.   Also, sooner or later you will want to own a high-end, high-grade pro lens, and on those Canon and Nikon have a sizeable price advantage.  Since these two companies have a vast share of the pro market, they also tend to get the best performing AF systems.  New Nikons look great indeed (although I am too invested in Canon gear to even think about switching), but Nikon is the only camera that has a reasonable size FF body with pro-level AF (Canon's offering 5DII has AF system one step below the one in 1DMKIII).   I had a chance to shoot skiers with 1DMKII and the AF performance is truly eye-opening.


I am all for mirrorless systems, but I think the toughest task for them thus far is shooting high-speed AF shots with telephoto lenses, which is about exactly what you tend to do for skiing.  I use my Oly Pen for 90% of my photographs, and it is just a terrific tool, but I still take my Canon SLR with 70-200L for ski pictures....  

post #8 of 9

There certainly are lots of good choices out there, aren't there?


I was first interested in the Panasonic GH-1. Smaller than an APS crop camera and a very good video implementation, so attractive for carrying while skiing, but general toughness was suspect and burst speeds were slow. Also, some pixel peeping reviews showed some color rendition and high ISO issues. Color rendition of jpegs seems substantially different from everybody else on the market, although postprocessing raw files can fix that.


Next, I considered the Pentax K7. It also had some high ISO issues, with "high" in this case being only 1600. This might have been due to either the jpeg engine or the sensor. Some reviews pointed strongly to the jpeg engine as the problem, meaning you can get much better images by postprocessing raw files. All it takes is time. Nonetheless, I liked the size and weight of the camera for carrying while skiing, and it is said to have arguably the best handling of any DSLR. I also liked the weather sealing and the weather sealed kit lenses, which makes it easier to work in wet, moody weather (including wet, soggy snow like we get around here on occasion). Then I started finding articles asking questions about the long-term financial viability of Pentax. Sigh...


Except for price (notice I keep climbing the price ladder), the Canon 7D looked excellent. It's fast and tough. It's weather sealed and has a high burst rate, as well as a good video implementation. Reviews give it excellent marks for image quality. Great. I'll save my pennies. But then I handled one. This thing is big and heavy. And I didn't care very much for the "quick control dial," although I'm sure I could get used to it.


In an attempt to control the price creep, I borrowed a Nikon D90 for a few days. The size and weight were certainly better for skiing than the 7D, the sensor dynamic range was excellent, and I liked the controls better than the Canon. The video implementation was clunky, but useable for short clips for movement analysis. The burst rate was so-so, but not deal-breaker. The kit lenses, although suffering from mediocre build quality, have excellent glass. The D90 has a very good jpeg engine and produces excellent raw files as well. Still, the camera is not weather sealed.


I've used the Nikon D200. It's another beast like the Canon 7D, and the D300s is the same size. Very nice otherwise, though.


Another one worth a look is the Sony A55, which has a fixed mirror and what DPReview says is a very good EVF and IQ. They were impressed with it. It has high, albeit limited, burst rates available. Still, it's not weather sealed and it's saddled with Sony's relatively limited selection of lenses, although some of the old Konica/Minolta lenses might work (not the old Rokkor lenses I own, unfortunately).


Now, along come the Nikon D7000, the Canon 60D, the Pentax K5 and the Panny GH-2.


I'm not really interested in the Panasonic unless they do something about the jpeg color. I don't want to have to postprocess everything.


The K5 is getting up there in price, especially since I'm not sure about how long Pentax will be with us. Still, it could be extremely competitive if IQ is top-notch.


The 60D is a little disappointing, mostly because it's not weather sealed. If Pentax can seal the K7, why can't Canon seal the 60D for a similar price? It also lacks the multi-flash control that the D7000 has (although I might never use it). It does have a better video implementation than the D7000, and it has an articulating LCD screen, which may be very useful, although not as tough as a fixed screen.


I'm most interested in the D7000. Although it may not have "full" weather sealing, it at least has some and promises to be more tolerant of crappy, moody, interesting weather than the GH-2 or the 60D. It has the Nikon controls I like, and the Nikon lens suite I like, although the initial 18-105 kit lens is not the optimal choice, IMHO. I like the idea of 14-bit per color raw files, and I hope that translates into more dynamic range. Dual card slots is interesting, too. The metering looks extremely sophisticated, and the AF should be solid. The D7000 is a little pricey, but that will drop in the new year (I hope).


Of course, this could all change once detailed reviews come out. IQ is a Big Deal, of course, and high ISO quality really is important, even outdoors sometimes. I can't afford $2,000 telephoto lenses, so I'm likely to end up with a fairly slow zoom, so ISO will, on occasion, save the day, or the shot. Also, even if I had the money, fast lenses are big and heavy. Slow lenses are much easier to carry.


So, like many, I await the reviews with baited breath, and get by with an old Sony superzoom compact, which has so far survived the abuse I've given it. IQ sucks, though.

post #9 of 9

I tend to agree that the 4/3 system is a dead man waking. I'm hoping there is a solution that allows 4/3 lenses to be used (optimally) on m4/3 cameras. I tend to disagree about the lenses however. I think the Zuiko lenses compete very favorably with the Nikon and Canon lenses at pretty much every price point. The 4/3 lenses are really the strength of the system. Not a lot of primes and the system could use a 300mm and 400mm F4ish telephoto that didn't absolutely break the bank, but the line up of zooms is terrific. I don't see anything in the Canon/Nikon lines that really compete with the constant aperture F2 super high grade zooms. But I agree that I wouldn't invest in the system at this point.

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